Of Hackers and Hairdressers: Modularity and the Organizational Economics of Open-source Collaboration
Using the idea of modularity, we study the general phenomenon of open-source collaboration, which includes such things as collective invention and open science in addition to open-source software production. We argue that open-source collaboration coordinates the division of labor through the exchange of effort rather than of products: suppliers of effort self-identify in the same way as suppliers of products in a market rather than accepting assignments like employees in a firm. We suggest that open-source software (and other) projects are neither bazaars nor cathedrals, but hybrids manifesting both voluntary production and conscious planning.
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Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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